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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Strategies for your Brain

"Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought."
– Henri-Louis Bergson

On Friday, I took a continuing education class sponsored by the Institute for Brain Potential and presented by Michael Lara, M.D.   Further Information from Dr.Lara can be obtained from his website, The following information are for educational purposes only.

According to Dr. Lara the prefrontal cortex is responsible for effective cognitive functioning and beginning as early as the mid-20s, a variety of impaired neurotransmitter signaling are  a result of age-related changes. Cumulative effects of chronic stress, such as depression, increased levels of cortisol, increased production of free radicals and other forms of bio markers like “ inflammation” are associated, and contribute to these changes. And of course we’re all familiar with memory loss.

Mild forgetfulness (where did I leave my keys, can you help me find my cell phone) are generally part of normal aging and occur  around age 70. Mild Cognitive Impairment is characterized by more severe lapses in memory and occur roughly around age 60, while Alzheimer’s Dementia(loss of memory, thinking, and reasoning skills) is more severe.

Memory loss is generally affected by age-related sleep changes, and can be  a significant stressor because of decreased total nocturnal  sleep time, delayed onset of sleep, reduced slow wave sleep, etc. These changes affect hippocampal atrophy in the aging brain.

Dr. Lara indicated that the following are not intended for “patient” diagnosis, education or treatment. A few of his ideas are as follows: 1. The B vitamins can support neurotransmitter function, and researchers found that homo cysteine-lowering B vitamins slowed the rate of brain atrophy in mild cognitive impairment by as much as 53%. 2. Bacopa is an Ayurvedic herb used to promote learning and memory. 3. As body weight increases (the abdominal cavity), brain volume drops. And obesity is primarily a disease of inflammation. 4. Omega-3 fatty acids and the ratio of Omega: 6: 3 is associated with and can be an anti- inflammatory nutrient. The ratio of approximately 1 is recommended. 5. The Mediterranean Diet is associated with reducing the risk of negative metabolic syndrome, reducing the risk of age-related cognitive decline and lower mortality rates.

Dr. Lara also talked about the benefits of Resveratrol (alcohol or grape juice) as a potent antioxidant; Dark Cocoa, CoQ10, and Blueberries, reducing oxidative stress caused by damaged mitochondria. For wine drinkers, you’ll like this quote “a meal without wine is like a day without sunshine.” Dr. Lara also talked about nutrients  that supported brain metabolism such as: 1. Berberine 2. Caffeine 3. Cinnamon.

His strategies for protecting the aging brain include: 1.Caloric restriction 2. Intermittent fasting 3. Aerobic training 4. Resistance training. Dr. Lara also mentioned that one hour of exercise was negated by six hours of sitting.

For those of you that want additional information, I suggest that you go to his website, or to for additional references such as DVDs, booklets, and/or recommended readings. I totally support incorporating diet, supplements, and exercise to increase brain volume, longevity and to slow down cognitive  impairment for our aging brains. The key, of course, is finding the right  answer/practitioner.

In any event, keep moving, laughing, smiling, loving, appreciating and bonding too.


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